Opinion
Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Opinion L.A.
Opinion Opinion L.A.

Readers' solutions to 'poof goes the middle class'

In a column and a blogpost this week, I invited readers to send suggestions for ways to stop the hollowing of America’s middle class — and they answered energetically.

Some responses were unsurprising. Conservatives proposed lower taxes, fewer regulations and voting Democrats out of office. Liberals proposed higher taxes, more regulations and voting Republicans out of office.

“Lower taxes — preferably a consumption tax instead of an income tax, which penalizes those who are trying to improve their economic state,” suggested Scott Worman of Oceanside.

“Raise taxes on the wealthy to 45%, on corporations to 80%, and you will see amazing amounts of jobs,” argued Linda Winsh-Bolard of Brea. “If someone can’t live on a million a year, too bad.”

And there were those who yawned.

“We've been watching the evaporation of the middle class at accelerating rates for the past three decades, so it wasn't really a news flash,” noted Mark Cromer of Claremont. (He’s right.)

Cromer proposed tighter restrictions on immigration, as did some others. But one reason for the loss of middle-class jobs is that they’re being outsourced to other countries, and immigration restrictions wouldn’t affect that phenomenon.

Other ideas included:

Job sharing. “Have two people share one job, each working six months a year,” wrote Aaron Landau of La Mesa.

Energy projects. Leon Bloom proposed allowing U.S. corporations to repatriate overseas profits tax-free if they invest them in energy efficiency projects. “Upgrading the electric grid might generate more than 2 million good-paying jobs,” he wrote.

Reviving the payroll tax cut that expired at the beginning of 2013. “Democrats should like the fact that most of this tax cut goes to middle and lower taxpayers,” noted John Kissinger. “Instantly higher demand would shortly be followed by hiring.”

Shortening all politicians’ terms to two years — to produce more elections. “That’s probably the only process that still creates a few jobs,” wrote Sai Akkanapragada of Brewster, N.Y. (I think that one was tongue-in-cheek.)

And, finally, organizing toward large-scale political change — for example, by forging an alliance between the tea party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, proposed Marge England.

But even she didn’t sound confident that her idea would work. “As for myself, I’m trying prayer,” she wrote.

ALSO:

Preserving the Affordable Care Act

A propofol-free colonoscopy? Some doctors say yes

Oh baby! What the future holds for the royal George

Follow Doyle McManus on Twitter @doylemcmanus and Google+

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Poof goes the middle class

    Poof goes the middle class

    With wages falling and inequality increasing, new ideas are needed to prevent the emergence of a new underclass.

  • America's disappearing middle class: Prepping for doomsday

    America's disappearing middle class: Prepping for doomsday

    In my Wednesday column, I described a vision of our future as imagined by economist Tyler Cowen: More rich people, more poor people and a smaller middle class; constant measurement of workers to help employers eliminate slackers; and “the creation of a new underclass,” including retirees clustered...

  • A big tax break for billionaires, courtesy of the GOP

    A big tax break for billionaires, courtesy of the GOP

    To commemorate Tax Day, House Republicans plan to pass a bill Wednesday that would cut taxes by nearly $270 billion over the coming decade. Don't break out the champagne, however — the money almost certainly isn't going into your bank account. Instead, the tax break would benefit fewer than 5,500...

  • Why 'fast track' bill on trade makes sense

    Why 'fast track' bill on trade makes sense

    Republican leaders in the House are struggling to push through a "fast track" bill for trade agreements, which administration officials say is crucial to negotiating good ones. They wouldn't be in this position if representatives from California, whose economy is unusually dependent on trade, lined...

  • Robert Menendez and the dangers of unlimited campaign contributions

    Robert Menendez and the dangers of unlimited campaign contributions

    Federal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) challenge the reasoning behind a court decision that has allowed wealthy donors to pour more than $2 billion into “independent spending” groups in the last two election cycles. The Justice Department alleged Wednesday that Menendez...

  • Republicans love to hate the IRS, but it's a model of efficiency

    Republicans love to hate the IRS, but it's a model of efficiency

    As you labor over your tax returns this month, spare a moment of sympathy for the least-loved agency in the federal government: the Internal Revenue Service.

  • A state earned income tax credit could help people move from welfare to work

    A state earned income tax credit could help people move from welfare to work

    The earned income tax credit has enjoyed four decades of bipartisan support because it helps working people at the bottom of the economic ladder climb up a few rungs. In their zeal to bring the federal budget into balance without raising taxes on people with means, however, congressional Republicans...

  • The GOP's budget gimmickry won't fix the deficit

    The GOP's budget gimmickry won't fix the deficit

    With Congress on spring break, many House and Senate Republicans will probably spend the next two weeks back home touting the resolutions they passed to "balance the budget" within 10 years. But the competing resolutions for fiscal 2016 won't do anything of the sort, no matter what lawmakers say....

Comments
Loading
86°